Thursday, 21 November 2013

Workplan for Spring A&S - Leather Dye Project

Alright, time to get organized. I have about four months until Spring Kingdom A&S (March 29 to be exact) and I have a whole pile of work to do if I'm going to present my best work. So, to keep myself on track, I'm going to do a work plan for what I need to get done.

This plan is for the leather dye project. I'll do another one for the stick-purse, and a third plan for all the other miscellaneous stuff I need to do in the meantime.

Given the time restrictions, I'm going to stick with trying to improve my current colours, rather than adding new colours to the mix.

Try green dye recipe with fresh buckthorn berries (done)
Update green dye picture with new sample to compare (done)
Try period black dye with rusted metal  (done)
Take picture (and compare to original test with vinegar dissolved metal - no rust)  (done)
Try to find alum-tawed leather to experiment with

Try to research period coatings that might help stop the dye from rubbing off (like modern top coat)
Retry red dye:  (done)
  • Pre-soak the leather in the alum water longer  (done)
  • Apply oil coating before leather fully dries to try to preserve bright colour  (done)
  • If I have alum-tawed, do a sample of that as well to compare
  • Take pictures as appropriate to document process and results  (done)
Get cheap mortar for grinding pigment (done)
Retry blue dye:
  • Grind the indigo finer  (done)
  • Try soaking the leather in the blue liquid rather than just painting it on
  • Pre-soak longer with the alum-water
  • If I have alum-tawed, do a sample of that as well to compare
  • Try one of the recipes with Roman vitriol
  • Take pictures as appropriate to document process and results
Wrap up any experiments still pending above
Update documentation

Clean up any details (focus should be on stick-purse at this point)
Print documentation and assemble display


  1. Sounds like a good plan.

  2. Did you find Alum tawed leather yet?

    Clayton Leather in the UK sell it

    1. Thanks, good to have additional resources. I did find some eventually. I ordered some samples from Talas in new York.